The following is an Op-Ed by Melissa Frost, UVU’s Title IX Coordinator
UVU is proud to participate in the It’s On Us campaign to end sexual harassment and sexual violence. National statistics show that one in four women and one in sixteen men will experience some form of unwanted sexual contact. While we are a very safe campus, we consider one incident of sexual harassment or violence too many. Our goal in participating in this campaign: Create a campus free from sexual harassment and violence.
We need everyone’s help in understanding that any form of unwanted sexual misconduct is a violation of UVU policy. Recognize that consent is key in how we determine whether an incident was unwanted. Regardless of your gender or who you’re attracted to, your partner’s consent is essential if you have any intentions of taking things further. Only Yes means Yes. Consent must be given voluntarily and willingly through words and/or actions to participate in the encounter. Consent is an ongoing conversation. Consent may be withdrawn at any time, even after engaging in the same voluntary act previously. Consent can never be given by a person who is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, sleep deprivation or physical or mental impairment.
Education is a key component in preventing sexual assault. To be successful in reaching our goal, UVU will soon launch a new mandatory student and employee online training. We also invite each member of our campus community to make a difference by getting involved in one or more the following events:
Red Zone Week/Campus Safety Week (Held Sept. 14-19 in conjunction with Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Month): Our focus this week is to help students understand that the majority of sexual assaults on college campuses occur from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. These free events include: Meeting your Campus Police; a screening of the documentary film “The Hunting Ground”; Health Relationships seminars; Student Poster Competition; and Healing Yoga and Dance classes.
Consent Trainings/Bystander Intervention/Mentors in Violence Prevention– These interactive trainings explain your role in preventing sexual violence and recommend safe and successful strategies to intervene and/or support friends or loved ones who have experienced sexual violence.
Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Training– UVU will partner with the R.A.D. systems of self-defense training and offer self-defense trainings facilitated by certified R.A.D. instructors. The training offers a holistic approach to self-defense education, and includes education components comprised of lecture, discussion, and physical resistive strategies.
The Second Annual Sexual Violence Symposium at Westminster College in Salt Lake City Sept.18-19 in collaboration with the Utah Department of Health and all of the colleges and universities within Utah, the symposium includes keynote speakers, workshops, and a showing of the documentary “The Hunting Ground”. A student track is available for only $10 and we encourage anyone who is interested to register. For more information go to http://www.westminstercollege.edu/titleix/?parent=16244&detail=17236If your department or club is interesting in participating, contact Alexis Palmer at [email protected] It’s on each of us to take safety seriously. Please register your commitment to do your part in making our campus safe by taking the pledge at itsonus.org.
Title IX Office
If you become aware of an incident of sexual harassment violence, there are many options available to report. All reports are taken seriously. Prompt reporting gives the best options for a criminal conviction or university discipline. All UVU employees are required to report the incident and name of the person to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator, who by law must keep track of these records. However, if a person wants to remain anonymous, they need to tell one of our licensed mental health professionals in student health services, who are exempt from this reporting requirement. Unless the incident involves those under the age of 18 or there is imminent risk to the health or safety of themselves or others, requests for anonymity will be honored. The Title IX coordinator or deputy can help you understand all your rights and options including your right to file a police report, file a civil suit, request University discipline, neither or both.
You may reach Melissa Frost, the Title IX coordinator, in BA203a, [email protected] or at 801-863-7590 or through EthicsPoint at https://www.uvu.edu/audit/concerns/.